World Championships 2014

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Egypt's Ashour Is 2014 Squash World Champion


Egyptian Ramy Ashour, the 27-year-old appearing in his first competitive tournament since May's Allam British Open, defied all critics to claim his third World Championship crown, beating compatriot Mohamed Elshorbagy in a thrilling final win Doha.

Ashour, who has been plagued with injuries since retiring during his 2013 World Championship semi-final, completed a miraculous return to action to come through 3-2, 13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 14-12 in a dramatic 90-minute encounter that saw both players squander match points before Ashour eventually prevailed in a repeat of his 2012 victory over Elshorbagy, at the same venue.

"I'm speechless," said Ashour afterwards. "It's an unbelievable feeling and I just can't believe it.

"I have worked so hard both mentally and physically to get myself ready for this tournament and I have pushed myself so hard - It doesn't get any better than this."

In the early stages of the match both players displayed nerves, making uncharacteristic errors, but it wasn’t long before the capacity crowd at the Khalifa Squash centre, which has packed over 1,200 fans in for the all-Egyptian encounter, were treated to some of the most enthralling action ever witnessed in a World Championship final as both players produced squash of the highest standard.

“It was dramatic and it was brutal – it was like a fight. We were both trying to get inside the other’s game but nobody succeeded – we were both producing our best squash,” added Ashour.

“In that last game we both had match balls and it was back and forth between us, we both wanted so badly to be World Champion and winning my third World title means so much to me – this is a very special moment.

"Mohamed is an amazing player and he will win a lot more tournaments but I was very proud of the way both of us represented Egypt in such a great manner today and it makes me proud of my country."


Main Draw

1st Round
2nd Round
3rd Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Finals

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Men's World Squash Championship 2014
 PSA World Squash Championship 2014
Round One
14/15 Nov
Round Two
16/17 Nov
Round Three
18 Nov
19 Nov
20 Nov
21 Nov
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
6-11, 9-11, 11-6,
11-7, 11-3 [57m]
[Q] Andrew Wagih (Egy)
Gregory Gaultier
11-4, 11-7, 11-3 [31m]
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan
Gregory Gaultier
10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 [66m]
Omar Mosaad

Gregory Gaultier
1-3, 11-4, 11-5 [41m]
Cameron Pilley

Gregory Gaultier
17-15, 11-7, 11-5 [56m]
Ramy Ashour



























Ramy Ashour
13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5,
14-12 [90m]
Mohamed Elshorbagy

Mazen Hesham (Egy)
13-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5 [51m]
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy)
11-8, 1-11, 11-8,
5-11, 11-7 [55m]
Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
Karim Ali Fathi
11-4, 11-2, 11-2 [29m]
Omar Mosaad
[9] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
11-8 11-8, 10-12, 11-5 [53m]
[wc] Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
[16] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
11-3, 11-2, 11-8
[Q] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
Mathieu Castagnet
11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4 [74m]
Alister Walker
Alister Walker
11-7, 11-6,
12-10 [52m]
Cameron Pilley
Alister Walker (Bot)
10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 [44m]
[Q] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11-6, 7-11, 11-7,
6-11, 11-9 [75m]
Joe Lee (Eng)
Cameron Pilley
12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5 [86m]
Peter Barker
[7] Peter Barker (Eng)
11-8, 6-11, 11-7,
11-6 [67m]
Chris Simpson (Eng)
[6] Borja Golan (Esp)
11-5, 11-8, 11-9 [51m]
Leo Au  (Hkg)
Borja Golan
8-11, 11-2,
11-4, 11-2 [53m]
Greg Lobban
Borja Golan
11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5 [60m]
Fares Dessouki
Borja Golan
7-11, 11-6,
11-7, 11-6 [75m]
Ramy Ashour
Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
11,4 11-4, 11-4 [31m]
[Q] Greg Lobban (Sco)
Fares Dessouki (Egy)
11-8, 11-0, 6-11,
11-9 [46m]
[Q] Farhan Zaman (Pak)
Fares Dessouki
11-9, 11-2, 11-9 [40m]
Marwan Elshorbagy
[13] Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy)
11-7, retired
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
[12] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
11-4, 11-6, 11-6 [24m]
Shaun Le Roux (Rsa)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
11-2, 12-10,
11-7 [40m]
Zahed Mohamed
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
9-11, 11-6,
11-5, 11-4 [47m]
Ramy Ashour
Zahed Mohamed (Egy)
11-8, 11-8, 11-9 [49m]
[Q] Ben Coleman (Eng)
Adrian Grant (Eng)
9-11, 11-4, 11-2,
11-7 [42m]
[Q] Piedro Schweertman (Ned)
Adrian Grant
11-6, 11-5, 11-9 [30m]
Ramy Ashour
[4] Ramy Ashour (Egy)
11-5, 14-12, 11-5 [32m]
[Q] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
[3] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-2, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1 [47m]
[Q] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
Nick Matthew
11-6, 11-3, 11-4 [40m]
Gregoire Marche
Nick Matthew
11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9 [52m]
Saurav Ghosal
Nick Matthew
11-3, 12-10, 11-7 [42m]
Amr Shabana
Nick Matthew
11-9, 11-5, 11-8 [60m]
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Gregoire Marche (Fra)
9-11,11-5 [98m]
Alan Clyne (Sco)
Nasir Iqbal (Pak)
13-11, 11-5, 11-8 [42m]
[Q] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
Nasir Iqbal
11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4 [51m]
Saurav Ghosal
Steven Finitsis (Aus)
11-5, 11-4, 11-6 [35m]
[14] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
[15] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
11-9, 11-5, 11-3 [25m]
Abdullah Al Muzayen (Kuw)
Karim Abdel Gawad
13-11, 3-11,
11-7, 6-11, 11-8 [78m]
Max Lee
Max Lee
11-6, 11-7,
11-4 [29m]
Amr Shabana
Max Lee (Hkg)
11-7, 10-12, 11-13, 11-7, 11-3 [63m]
[Q] Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
11-9, 11-7, 11-5 [35m]
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
Nicolas Mueller
11-7, 201-8,
8-11, 11-4 [62m]
Amr Shabana
Adrian Waller (Eng)
11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-2 [49m]
[5] Amr Shabana (Egy)
[8] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-5, 11-4, 8-11,
3-11, 11-4 [73m]
Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
Stephen Coppinger
11-5, 11-6, 11-6 [43m]
Ong Beng Hee
Stephen Coppinger
12-10,9-11,14-12,8-11,11-8 [85m]
Tarek Momen
Stephen Coppinger
11-8, 11-9, 11-7 [46m]
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11-9, 11-4, 11-8 [41m]
[Q] Peter Creed (Wal)
Eddie Charlton (Eng)
11-2, 11-6, 11-5 [36m]
Tom Richards (ENG)
Tom Richards
9-11, 11-6,
11-6, 11-7 [53m]
Tarek Momen
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11-8, 11-5, 11-8 [30m]
[10] Tarek Momen (Egy)
[11] Simon Rösner (Ger)
11-6, 11-4, 11-9 [38m]
[Q] Danish Atlas Khan (Pak)
Simon Rösner
6-11, 11-6,
11-6, 11-9 [64m]
Lucas Serme
Simon Rösner
11-8, 9-11,
11-9, 11-9 [65m]
Mohamed Elshorbagy
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
11-4, 11-3, 11-9 [50m]
[Q] Lucas Serme (Fra)
Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
11-9, 11-3, 11-13, 11-9 [54m]
[Q] Lance Bedoes (Nzl)
Mahesh Mangaonkar
11-6, 11-4, 11-1 [29m]
Mohamed Elshorbagy
[Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
11-5, 11-4, 11-8 [25m]
[2] Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy)

Results 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship

Qualifying final:

[1] Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 [59m]
[9] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [L] Ali Bader Al-Ramzi (KUW) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 [29m]
[11] Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) bt Shehab Essam Hosny (EGY) - Walkover
[8] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt Bader Al Hussaini (KUW) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 [21m]
[6] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Muhammad Saqib Yousaf (PAK) 3-1: 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 [36m]
[16] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 3-1: 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 [55m]
Lance Beddoes (NZL) bt [10] Jens Schoor (GER) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 [34m]
[4] Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Ammar Altamimi (KUW) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 [34m]
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [3] Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-8, 15-13, 11-8 [38m]
[15] Ben Coleman (ENG) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 [29m]
[14] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-1: 11-3, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5 [44m]
Piedro Schweertman (NED) bt [7] Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 3-1: 6-11, 15-13, 11-4, 11-7 [63m]
Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt [5] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 [63m]
[12] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [L] Ahmed Hassan (ZIM) - Walkover
[16] Peter Creed (WAL) bt Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) 3-2: 11-13, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9 [73m]
[2] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [L] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-0: 11-1, 11-1, 11-2 [21m]


Semi Finals

Elshorbagy Downs Matthew To Set Up All-Egyptian World Final


World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy proved he can walk-the-walk by defeating 2013 title holder Nick Matthew 3-0 in their 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship semi-final show-down in Doha to back up his off-court claims.

The duo were embroiled in a war-of-words coming into the tournament, with Elshorbagy stating Matthew 'wouldn't be able to handle the pace' and the 23-year-old from Alexandria lived up to his prediction, out-muscling Matthew in an intense 60-minute battle.

Brutal rallies dominated proceedings throughout, with both players testing each other to the max, with the Bristol-based Egyptian prevailing to set up a final encounter with compatriot Ramy Ashour tomorrow, but he was quick to praise elder statesman Matthew following their match.

"It feels great to get that win because I came here today and I really wanted it and I gave it everything I had," said Bristol-based Elshorbagy.

"We were both really fired up for the match. There was a lot of talk and mind games before the match but there's a big respect there between us as well - Nick is an inspirational player and I have learnt a lot from him during my career so far.

"But on court it's a war and we both want to win. But once it's done, it's finished. Tomorrow I'm sure we'll joke with each other and forget about all the talk beforehand.

"I expect another exciting match in the final against Ramy tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it."

Ashour, returning to competitive action in this event for the first time since May's Allam British Open, was in majestic form as he withstood everything number one seed Gregory Gaultier threw at him to come through 3-0 in 56-minutes.

Ashour's last World Championship triumph came in Doha in 2012 when he beat Elshorbagy in the final and he'll be hoping for a repeat performance tomorrow.

"It feels great to be in the final and I'm going to give it 100 per cent and fight for every shot and every point," said Ashour.

"I'm pushing away the demons in my head and what counts is that I'm in there and I'm determined not to waste all the work I have put in."


Click on Images for larger view
Mohamed Elshorbagy proved he can walk-the-walk by defeating 2013 title holder Nick Matthew

Ramy Ashour, was in majestic form as he withstood everything number one seed Gregory Gaultier threw at him
Quarter Finals

Matthew And Elshorbagy To Clash In Worlds Semi-final


Defending champion Nick Matthew and current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy will go head-to-head in the semi-finals of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship in what is certain to be a blockbuster encounter.

Coming into the tournament in Doha, Elshorbagy, 11-years Matthew's junior, claimed his title rival was 'past his peak' while Matthew hit back stating Elshorbagy has only been number one for 'five minutes' and the duo will now meet in a crucial encounter where they'll be aiming to back up their words with victory on the court.

"I know what to expect from Mohamed tomorrow," said Matthew, who booked his place in the last four with a resounding 3-0 win against four-time World Champion Amr Shabana.

"He is an extremely strong player and I'll be preparing myself to deal with that. I’m going to enjoy the way I played tonight and then I’m going to refocus.

"I've proved that I still have the hunger to compete this week and I've not come here to end my run at the semi-finals. I've probably not got a million years left in these events so I'm going to try and make the most of it."

The duo last met in the semi-finals of the Allam British Open in May, when Matthew used his experience to get past the Bristol-based man from Alexandra 3-2 in a brutal 104-minute encounter, but Elshorbagy expects a different outcome tomorrow.

"Nick looked in great form in his match today and I know he wants to break another record and become the oldest World Champion," said Elshorbagy, conqueror of South African Stephen Coppinger in the quarters.

"But he made a comment before the tournament that I have only been number one for a few minutes and I think he needs to be a little bit careful.

"He likes to stand up a lot between games and my advice to him is that he should sit down and get that rest tomorrow because I'm going to play at a pace that he won't be able to handle."

The winner of their crunch encounter will face either two-time World Champion Ramy Ashour or four-time runner-up Gregory Gaultier in the final after they cam through the encounters with Borja Golan and Cameron Pilley, respectively, with Ashour completing a remarkable come-from-behind triumph in his encounter.


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In order Below Matthew, Shorbagy, Gaultier and Ashour

3rd Round

Coppinger Moves Into World Championship Quarters


Unseeded Stephen Coppinger, the World No.24 from Cape Town, pulled off what he described as the biggest win of his career as he beat Egyptian World No.9 Tarek Momen to move into the quarter-finals of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship.

The 30-year-old, who knocked World No.11 Daryl Selby out in round one, put in a thunderous performance to get past Momen in an 85-minute thriller, completing the victory with a dramatic final rally to take the match 12-10, 9-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8.

It's a victory that sees him become the first South African since Roland Watson in 1979 to reach the quarter-finals and he will now take on World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, conqueror of German Simon Rösner, for a place in the semi-finals.

"Considering the setting, the circumstance and that this is the World Championship, this is without a shadow of a doubt the biggest win of my career," said Coppinger.

"I was just a few points away from a win and then had to start all over again but I done something similar in the first round so I had the belief that I could do it.

"I'm in the quarters now and I don't think any player gets there easily, we've all had our own battles. I've come through a few of those so I'm mentally in the right place, so lets see what happens tomorrow."

Australia's top ranked squash player, Cameron Pilley, joined Coppinger as the only other unseeded player in the last eight after he defeated Botswanan Alister Walker 3-0.

Pilley, the current World No.20 from Yamba, took out World No.8 Peter Barker in his first round match and followed up that performance with an impressive and dominant display against Walker to set up a last eight encounter against World No.2 Gregory Gaultier.

"I'm absolutely stoked to be in the quarters of the World Championship," said Pilley.

"It's an awesome feeling, especially after the last few months where I've been out of form.

"Alister likes to use his physical attributes on the court and like with every player, I done what I could to neutralise their talents, and today everything worked to a tee for me."

Elsewhere defending champion Nick Matthew survived a tough test against Saurav Ghosal of India to set up a last eight battle with four-time champion Amr Shabana while two-time winner Ramy Ashour will meet Spanish champion Borja Golan after winning a thrilling match with Colombian Miguel Angle Rodriguez.

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Stephen Coppinger, career high as he beat Egyptian World No.9 Tarek Momen

Asshour (Below) and Gaultier  (above) both through to Quarter finals in 4

Cameron Pilley Follows Stephen Coppinger as the only unseeded players throu to Quater Finals
2nd Round Lower Half of Draw

Matthew Carries British Hopes In World Championship


All hopes of British success in the 2014 Qatar PSA World Squash Championship will rest on defending champion Nick Matthew after he moved into the third round after a 3-0 win over French World No.29 Gregoire Marche.

Matthew's victory, in what was an impressive 40-minute performance, means that he is the only English representative in the third round, the first time since 2007 that England have had only one sole player reach the latter stages of the sport's most prestigious tournament.

Matthew will now take on Indian number one Saurav Ghosal in the third round to keep his hopes of victory, and a fourth championship, alive.

"I was very respectful of Greg today because he's a talented player on the rise," said Matthew.

"He's got a great future ahead of him and he likes a fast game so I tried to use my experience to my advantage today and I'm very happy to win and go through.

"I've been very lucky to play a sport I love for a living and I'm happy to be playing at the moment and hopefully I have a few years left in me yet as long as the hunger is there."

Matthew's likely semi-final opponent, World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, continued his impressive start to the tournament by dismantling Indian Mahesh Mangoankar 3-0 in 29-minutes to keep alive hopes of what could be a potentially explosive last four encounter.

Elshorbagy has blitzed his way to the title in his last four-consecutive PSA World Tour events, taking the title at both the prestigious US Open and Hong Kong Open in the process, and looks a hot-favourite to take the 2014 crown.

"I'm feeling really good at the moment," said Elshorbagy. "I knew it would be important to keep the first two matches short if possible and from tomorrow I think my tournament really gets started.

"I think I have maybe the toughest draw of the top players. If things go to seedings I have to beat two top ten players just to reach the semi-final but to be the No.1 you have to beat everyone and I believe I can deal with it."

In the first match of the day, World No.21 Max Lee became the first ever player from Hong Kong to reach the third round of squash's biggest tournament, while South African Stephen Coppinger became the first South African to reach the last 16 since Roland Watson in 1981.


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Nick Matthew moves into the third round after his win over Gregoire Marche

Mohamed Elshorbagy, beats Indian Mahesh Mangoankar

2nd Round Top Half of Draw

Pilley Powers Past Barker In Worlds


Australian Cameron Pilley, the World No.20, powered his way past English World No.8 Peter Barker in a brutal 86-minute encounter to move into the third round of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship in Doha.

The rangy man from Yamba struggled to overcome another Englishman, Joe Lee, in the first round but he stepped up through the gears against Barker, one of the tour's most resilient players, to earn an impressive victory against the number seven seed, surviving a strong fightback to hold on for victory.

Pilley looked in control of the contest after racing out to a two-game lead but Barker fought back and took advantage of a string of errors to level the match and force a decider, but it was the Australian who prevailed in a tough physical match-up, winning 2-10, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5

"I'm very happy with that win," said Pilley. "We've played a few times in the last six months and he's won every time so it's pleasing to make up for those today.

"In the fifth game I just wanted to get off to a good start and not mess it up and I played as well as I could ever have hoped to.

"I had a bit of a motivation drop after the Commonwealth Games but I had a great training stint with David Palmer recently and that gave me a bit of a new lease of live.

"I struggled in the first round so I'm more than happy to get that win today."

Earlier in the day Gregory Gaultier, the French number one seed, responded to his critics with a resounding victory over Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan.

Gaultier almost crashed out of the tournament at the first hurdle, having to come from two-games down to claw his way past Egyptian Andrew Shoukry, but he rebounded in emphatic fashion to annihilate Adnan 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 in just 31-minutes.

It's a victory that sees the man from Aix-En-Provence move into the third round to face Egyptian Omar Mosaad in what will be his 50th World Championship contest since making his debut in the tournament in 2002, when he beat Del Harris in the first round.

"I'm feeling better and I feel like things are starting to come together more now," said Gaultier.

"Physically I hadn't felt good since I arrived here in Doha but I'm felling much better now and I'm looking forward to the next match now.

"I have been playing and training had for two weeks building up to this tournament and winning is all I care about."

Gaultier's seeded semi-final opponent, two-time World Champions Ramy Ashour, continued his his injury-comeback with a resounding 3-0 victory over England's Adrian Grant.

Elsewhere Egyptians Omar Mosaad and Fares Dessouki successfully moved into the third round, getting past compatriots Karim Ali Fathi and Marwan Elshorbagy, respectively, while Miguel Angle Rodriguez, Alister Walker and Borja Golan rounded out the top half of the second round with wins..


Click on Images for larger view

Australian Cameron Pilley, the World No.20, powered his way past English World No.8 Peter Barker

Ramy Ashour Victory Over Adrian Grant

Fares Dessouki Wins In Three Against Fellow Egyptian Marwan Elshorbagy

1st Round Lower Half of Draw

Matthew Marches On As Coppinger Stuns Selby


Defending squash World Champion Nick Matthew got the defence of his title off to a successful start, getting past tricky German opponent Raphael Kandra 3-1 in his opening match of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship.

Matthew, who won his third World Championship crown in four years on home soil in Manchester last November, is bidding to become just the fifth man to win the title four times and he raced out of the blocks against Kandra, racking up a two game lead in rapid time.

Matthew produced some vintage squash as he visibly overwhelmed Kandra, but the youngster regained his composure in the third game to fight back against the number three seed and held his nerve to take the game 12-10 and force the match into a fourth.

However, that was as good as it got for the German No.2 and World No.58 as Matthew upped his game to storm home taking the match 11-2, 11-6, 10-12, 11-1.

"It's not always a bad thing to have a tough first match", said Matthew.

"Losing that third game sparked me up a bit and really got my mental state from training-mode to match-mode, which sometimes can be a problem in the opening round of a tournament.

"I've put the training in and it's a case of hopefully going deep into the competition and seeing things come together throughout the week.

I've got a day off tomorrow to keep working on things and I'm just enjoying being here and I'm looking forward to the next match."

While Matthew progressed, his compatriot and number eight seed Daryl Selby suffered a shock first round exit at the hands of South African Stephen Coppinger, as the physical powerhouse came through an epic 3-2 encounter.

Coppinger watched Selby claw back a two game deficit but managed to hold out in the fifth and deciding game to earn an impressive victory.

"It's a massively satisfying result and I'm really pleased to get that win," said Coppinger.

"It was a brutal encounter mentally and when I got things right today I felt great and hopefully I can lock into that mode again in the next round.

"I've been struggling to get big wins like that for a while so I'm really chuffed to get a big win today in the World Championship."

Elsewhere there was an historic moment for Indian squash as duo Saurav Ghosal and Mahesh Mangoankar emerged victorious in their encounters with Australian Steve Finitsis and New Zealand's Lance Beddoes, respectively, to ensure their country has two representatives in the second round for the first time ever while Egypt will have a record ten representatives involved in the second round.




Click on Images for larger view

Matthew Marches On And Into Round Two

Daryl Selby suffered a shock first round exit at the hands of South African Stephen Coppinger

Shorbagy Safely Through In 3

1st Round Top Half of Draw

Top Seed Gaultier Survives Scare In World Championship Opener


French World No.2 and number one seed Gregory Gaultier narrowly avoided crashing out of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championships at the first hurdle today at Doha's Khalifa Tennis and Sports Complex, having to come from two games down to get past his opponent, Egyptian qualifier Andrew Wagih Shoukry.

Gaultier, who is competing in his 150th PSA World Tour event, looked in lacklustre form during the opening two games as Shoukry, who earned his place in the main draw after his qualifying opponent Shehab Essam Hosny failed to turn up, stormed into an early lead.

The 24-year-old World No.72 belied his ranking to stun the Frenchman, who has suffered heartbreak in four World Championship finals, but the man known on tour as 'The General' rallied to turn the match on its head and complete a 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 turnaround victory.

"I didn't feel good at all today," said Gaultier afterwards.

"I felt off and things were not working, but it's better to play like that early and still go through because as long as I win I don't care how I do it - I train to win even if I'm not at 100 per cent.

"He had no fear and played well but I didn't really feel in danger. At 2-0 down I just told myself to start over again and pretend it was 0-0 and find my patience.

"You have to deal with these things I need to get on the practice court tomorrow and try and find my rhythm and tomorrow is another day."

Gaultier's likely semi-final opponent, Egyptian World No.5 Ramy Ashour, made is highly anticipated return to PSA World Tour action with a convincing 3-0 victory over Malaysian Ivan Yuen.

The two-time World Champion from Cairo has missed the better part of the past 12 months following an horrendous run of injuries but his title rivals will have been paying attention as he came through in emphatic fashion, taking the match 11-5, 14-12, 11-5.

Elsewhere on the opening day of main round action Scotland's Greg Lobban pulled off an upset win over Finland's Henrik Mustonen to become the only qualifier to progress in the top half of the draw, while championship hopefuls Borja Golan, Omar Mosaad and Peter Barker all began their campaigns with wins.



Click on Images for larger view

Gaultier Survives Scare

Joe Lee just fails to beat Cameron Pilley


Pakistani Quartet Move Into First Round Of World Championship


Pakistan will have five representatives in the first round of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship for the first time since 2003 after Farhan Mehboob, Farham Zaman and brothers Aamir Atlas and Danish Atlas Khan came through qualification at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex earlier today to join compatriot Nasir Iqbal in the main draw.

The quartet booked their place in the first round of the prestigious competition courtesy of some dominant performances, with Mehboob and Zaman completing 3-0 wins over Kuwait's Bader Al Hussaini and American Chris Gordon, respectively while the Khan brothers show their spirit to come through testing encounters with England's Jamie Heycocks and fellow compatriot Tayyab Aslam.

Aamir Atlas Khan, the former World No.14, was given the toughest test during qualification, taking five games to get past Heycocks to earn a first round encounter with Alister Walker while Danish, the youngest qualifier at just 20, will face German World No.10 Simon Rösner.

"This is my first time in the World Championship and I'm very happy to win today to get into the main draw," said Danish.

"I hope to do my best against the best players in the world and get the experience of playing against them. The World Championship is huge, my uncle Jansher won it eight times and I hope to one day win it as well and make my country proud."

Elsewhere there was delight for young English duo Ben Coleman (23) and Charles Sharpes (22) as they eased into the main draw, while Dutch player Piedro Schweertman pulled off the biggest upset of the qualification round to defeat Danish World No.62 Kristian Frost Olesen 3-1.



Shabana Not Content To Make Up The Numbers


Four-time World Champion Amr Shabana, one of the most successful squash players of all-time, says he's hungry to add a fifth title to his name ahead of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship which get underway in Doha on Friday.

The 35-year-old from Cairo, who now resides in Toronto, became the first Egyptian player ever to win the prestigious title when he beat Thierry Lincou in the 2003 final and having gone on to become only the fourth man in history to win the title four times, he says he's hungry for more.

"Winning the World Championship is huge as the title is the biggest in our sport," said Shabana.
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"As a kid I used to daydream of playing the World Championship against the top guys so to actually win it once, and to be the first Egyptian to win it after all the amazing Egyptians that played before me, is something I am still proud of today.

"But I'm not going to this year's ever just to show up. I'm going to try and win - whether that results in me losing first round or winning it is unknown, but I will try my best going in to each match.

"As long as the mind and body are still healthy then I'm confident going in to this event."

Having beaten current World No.2 Gregory Gaultier and World No.5 Ramy Ashour to the title in 2007 and 2009, respectively, Shabana knows exactly what it takes to lift the coveted trophy and he says the battle between Gaultier, current World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and defending World Champion Nick Matthew to top the PSA World Rankings this year could play a huge role in the outcome of the Worlds.

"To win the World Championship it takes a few factors to all fall in to place in that week," said Shabana.

"You need to train hard and be ready for the competition and you need to focus on each round as it comes because everyone there will be just as prepared as you.

"I just treat it as any other tournament but I know the rankings can have a huge effect in those situations. It shows and reflects how well you played through the year but it can drain you or push you forward as well and we'll see if there's been any effect next week."
Gaultier Hungry For World Championship Win


French World No.2 Gregory Gaultier, the four-time World Championship runner-up, says he is preparing harder than ever before to end his Championship hoodoo ahead of the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship which gets underway in Doha on Friday November 14.

Gaultier, who held the World No.1 ranking for eights months in 2014, lost an agonising final against Nick Matthew in England last year and he's hoping that a change in approach to the competition will pay dividends when the world's top players converge in the heat of the Middle East.
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"I am really looking forward to the tournament," said Gaultier. "My training has been going well recently and I am trying to peak for the event.

"I chose to play less tournaments during the last few months compared to how many I played at the same time last year and that was all so that I can go into the World Championship as fresh as possible.

"I have a lost a few World Championship finals in the past but that gives me extra motivation to try and get that trophy in my hands because winning the Worlds would be a dream come true."

Gaultier lost his World No.1 ranking to Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy, who won the 2013 Qatar Classic in Doha, in the November rankings but despite losing to the Bristol-based 23-year-old in consecutive PSA World Series tournaments, in Hong Kong and Philadelphia, Gaultier says his focus is not on the younger man.

"Mohamed is in good form and he is maybe the man to beat but there are other players who will be going there who will be very dangerous," he said.

"There will be a lot of players who have prepared specifically for that event and while the crowd might favour and encourage the Egyptians more than the other players in Doha, I remember when I won there a few years ago the public were on my side as well so I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Matthew Ready For World Championship Challenge


Defending squash World Champion Nick Matthew says he is looking forward to beginning the defence of his title when the 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship gets underway in Doha, Qatar on Friday November 14.

The 33-year-old from Sheffield, who claimed his third world crown in front of a partisan home crowd in Manchester last November, goes into the 2014 tournament under the radar after falling to No.3 in the World Rankings behind Egyptian powerhouse Mohamed Elshorbagy and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the man he beat to glory last year.
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But the resilient Matthew, known on tour as 'The Wolf', says he is happy to be considered the underdog ahead of the most prestigious tournament in the squash calendar.

"The World Championship is the reason you play," said Matthew. "Everything else takes a back seat when you look at the calendar at the start of the year - this is the one that everybody wants.

"Every year you try and peak for the worlds but this year, with the Commonwealth Games and arrival of our first child, preparation hasn't been as fine tuned as perhaps last year but in the last few weeks I've started to feel that things are coming together.

"There's no pressure on me though - I'm old enough now to be past the stage where I put unnecessary pressure on myself and I know that you can't win every tournament.

"I know that if I never win again I can look back and be happy with my career but that said, if I'm in my best form in Doha next week and do myself justice, then I know I can be challenging in the latter stages and I'm really looking forward to it."

Having made history by becoming the first man to win back-to-back Commonwealth Games Gold Medals in Glasgow this summer, followed shortly after by the birth of his first child, Charlotte, 2014 has been a year to savour for Matthew so far but he knows he will have his work cut out to cap it all off with a fourth World Championship triumph.

Elshorbagy, the Bristol-based Egyptian, has been is sublime form so far this season, winning his last four consecutive tournaments and recording impressive victories over Gaultier in the process, and Matthew says he's the man everyone else has to beat in the heat of the Middle East.

"Mohamed has been the hunter throughout his career so far but now he's become the hunted," he said.

"It's how you react to that challenge and that position that determines a lot and I remember that when I got to number one for the first time it was quite tough. I think I dealt with it better second time around but to be No.1 at his age is pretty special.

"Doha is also a venue that he enjoys and it's a pretty difficult place for western players to go to and win because it's sort of a home venue for the Egyptians - they get a lot of vocal support there and I remember the 2012 final between Ramy (Ashour) and Mohamed was a crazy atmosphere.

"There's a new court though this year and that could change the dynamic of the competition. Mohamed especially has said before that he would have taken the old court to any tournament in the world as he like it that much so that might have a bearing on what happens next week. Either way, I’m really looking forward to it."

The 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship takes place at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar from Friday November 14 - Friday November 21 with Nick Matthew beginning his campaign on Saturday November 15 against a qualifier.

Anjema Out Of 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship


Dutch national champion Laurens Jan Anjema has withdrawn from the upcoming 2014 Qatar PSA World Championship taking place in Doha, Qatar from Friday November 14 - Friday November 21 due to injury.

The World No.16 has been suffering from a series of recurring foot and ankle problems throughout the past few months, having also missed the Delaware Investments US Open and Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open, and becomes the second player to withdraw from the sport's annual showpiece event in the past week following the retirement of Karim Darwish.

As a result, Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz and Indian Mahesh Mangaonkar move into the main draw automatically and will be in first round action on Saturday November 15.

Aziz will face compatriot Tarek Momen, the World No.9, while Mangaonkar will take on a qualifier in his opening encounter. 

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